If anyone can say that he has served God and his country it is Msgr. Dino J. Lorenzetti. The 96-year-old priest will be inducted to the Wall of Honor at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park on Friday, Nov. 10, at 10 a.m. The event falls almost 75 years to the day that Msgr. Lorenzetti enlisted to the United States Army during World War II.
"You don't have to take a bullet to be a hero," said John Vecchio, the Advisory Chair at the Naval Park, who decided to nominate Msgr. Lorenzetti for the honor. "There's a lot of courage just in living. What I love about Dino is the spirit if the man; his authentic enduring love for humanity, his deep unshakeable faith and his perennial enthusiasm make him a beloved priest and good friend."
Lorenzetti proudly served as Staff Sergeant of the US Army's 312th Depot Repair Squadron Supply Unit. He enlisted on Nov. 13, 1942, served in northern Africa and Italy before being honorably discharged on Dec. 2, 1945. He also served as associate editor of the base's newsletter and yearbook. Each year, Msgr. Lorenzetti still gathers with the families of the men he served with and offers a Mass.
Ordained a priest in 1953, Msgr Lorenzetti served many parishes in the Buffalo diocese, where he was born and raised. He served as pastor of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, in Orchard Park, from 1977 until 1996. He has also served as Diocesan Director of Family Life and on the Bishop's Committee for Christian Home and Family.
"He's somebody that is inspirational," said Vecchio, who notes that Msgr Lorenzetti still celebrates Mass on a fill-in basis at the age of 96. "He taps into the most basic human need to be loved, and he gets it. This guy had the right attitude when he enlisted and he had the right attitude when he was ordained."
The Wall of Honor is a permanent tribute and remembrance to those courageous Western New York men and women in all branches of the armed forces who served and sacrificed in U.S. wars and military actions.